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Posts Tagged ‘Liverpool’

Under the Mud – A film made by Liverpool teenagers one weekend

Posted by LiveFor on January 12, 2010

This sounds brilliant and a great way of making a film a community project. Thanks for Del for sending me the Guardian link.

A fortnight ago, a packed house gave a standing ovation to the world premiere of Under the Mud. Cate Blanchett, Dames Judi and Helen, and the puckish Daniel Craig were not in attendance. The occasion was not the Berlin film festival, nor the Baftas. The venue was Liverpool’s 2,000-capacity Philharmonic Hall, and you couldn’t get a ticket for love nor money.

Under the Mud is, in every sense, a community film, made for what producer Roy Boulter describes as “the bog-roll budget for most big films”. His company, Hurricane Films, cobbled together a few grand here and there from the local agencies (Northwest Vision, the Liverpool Culture Company), plus a bit of drug money – Glaxo Smith Kline made a £20,000 farewell donation as they closed down their south Liverpool factory – for a project the producer describes as “social surrealism”.

In fact, Under the Mud is a wonderful, magical, uplifting tale of one ordinary day in the life of an extraordinary working-class family – or vice versa. Mixing a hard-nosed cinéma vérité with animation, hallucination and one truly bizarre reimagining of Pink Floyd in a religious setting, Under the Mud is like Ken Loach on ecstasy. It’s Shameless the Movie as it would love to be if it didn’t have to filter its grit to middle-class taste.

The story is a familiar one. Irresistibly cute Olivia Potts (played by irresistibly cute Jasmine Mubery, age eight) wants a first Holy Communion to remember. That means a white carriage pulled by white horses and an all-singing communion dress (complete with angelic wings) that, quite literally, lights up the occasion. Her tipsy, thwarted father, Joe (played by one of the nation’s finest character actors, Andrew Schofield) and her repressed, still-gorgeous mother, Sally (Lisa Parry), attempt a ceasefire in their domestic war, just for the day. And the gloriously dysfunctional Potts family set off to enjoy little Livvy’s big day.

All the clan are there. Apart from mum and dad, there are big sister Paula (and her imaginary mate, Georgie); Paula’s actual best mate, Kelly (who talks so fast she needs subtitles); big brother Paul; and car-obsessed younger brother Karl, who sleeps in the garage in a bed carved from a customised Mini. And then there’s Magic.

Magic is Paul’s geeky pal who, since his mother died, has slept over so many times at the Potts’ madhouse that he is one of the family. Played by up-and-coming comedian and actor Lenny Wood, Magic is the Candide of the film – the idiot savant who sees all and affects little. He stands by mutely and observes Joe Potts pissing away the love of his life and he sees Sally tempted by the blandishments (and bundles of dough) of local gangster One Dig. But he can’t just stand there and watch his own true love, Paula Potts, being taken for a ride by the wannabe bigtime club legend DJ Worm.

Characters are ferried hither and thither by the permanently stoned, clairvoyant minicab driver, Chill – known as Mr Wrong for the uselessness of his predictions. Chill is another inspired piece of casting. Played by Keith Carter from the Rawhide stable of stand-up comics, he almost steals the show as he witnesses a terrified DJ Worm straddle a set of runaway aeroplane boarding stairs as they crash into a top-end Range Rover: “I didn’t see that coming!”

The screenplay has been written by 14 young people, most of whom are from the Speke/Garston area of south Liverpool, targeted by the EEC as an Objective 1 area of economic and social deprivation. Having just made the award-winning educational film Dead Drunk about the perils of teen binge-drinking, Boulter and his two partners in Hurricane, Sol Papadopoulos and Julie Currie, decided their next project should be a feature film. They linked up with a community-run internet cafe in Garston called Interchill and, having assured the teenage regulars they weren’t undercover police, settled into the process of producing a storyline.

As Papadopoulos explains when we meet in Hurricane’s offices in Liverpool’s Cathedral area, that was a painstaking process. The kids had barely written a short story between them, let alone a full-length screenplay. “We started off cutting out pictures from magazines and saying, ‘Go away and make something up, anything, about these people.’ From that we graduated to asking for their own anecdotes, everyday tales – funny, sad, mad, whatever – from their own lives. These personal accounts and stories became the spine of Under the Mud.”

The “mud” of the title refers to the setting, a tight-knit warren of terraced and council housing in the shadow of St Mary’s church by Garston docks in south Liverpool. It’s an area that has been cut off from the rest of the city by an expressway and flyover built to improve links between central Liverpool, the airport and the outlying industrial zones (Ford, for example, has a factory in the area). For all the positives it may have brought, the expressway has cut off Garston’s blood supply. Much of the housing in the neighbourhood is being bulldozed – another unforeseen impediment to the making of the film.

All the film’s action plays out over the course of a single day; by nightfall we’ve had punch-ups, underage car chases, meaningful debates on spray-tan and an utterly bizarre airport kidnapping. Underscored by a specially commissioned track from Pete Wylie, titled Sign On You Lazy Crimelord, there is also the most surreal, orchestrated church congregation sway you will ever see on film.

It’s a triumph. The film made me howl with laughter and, at times, it made me furious that they had to do this all by themselves. The 2,000-strong audience who gave the film and its young stars a prolonged ovation would seem to agree

Check out the official site.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows films in Liverpool

Posted by LiveFor on September 8, 2009

As many of you know I live in the wonderful city of Liverpool (Beatles Rock Band out tomorrow). However, I originated from the Wirral which is separated from Liverpool by the River Mersey. Connecting them are a bridge and two tunnels called the Queensway and the Kingsway.

What does this local geography lesson have to do with Live for Films and Harry Potter I hear you ask?

I am glad you did ask otherwise this post would have come to a swift end.

It turns out that there is some second unit filming going on for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It is taking place at the Liverpool side of the Queensway Tunnel. I had a top secret source tell another source…well it was a friend of my Mum telling her and my Mum telling me…that filming was taking place last night, tonight and tomorrow night. The plan was for me to nip down for some snapping of photographs but I was unable to do so.

However, the Liverpool Echo and The Leaky Cauldron got some video of the shoot.

The photo below is from July when they did some filming at the Dartford Tunnel with stunt doubles. It looks as if all of this will tie into the one scene.

The scene is thought to involve Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), racing through the tunnel on Sirius Black’s motorbike with Harry Potter in a sidecar fighting off enemies with his wand. This is the bit from the book where there are seven Harry’s to confuse the Death Eaters.

A publicist for the film said: “We have got a unit shooting for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows “There are no principal cast members there. “It is all going very well and everybody has been very accommodating locally.”

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Batman Double Bill at the Picturehouse in Liverpool

Posted by LiveFor on December 5, 2008

The Picturehouse at FACT in Liverpool have got a cool showing for all Batman fans. A proper Brucie Bonus as it were.

Don’t miss out on our fantastic Batman double bill featuring the two most recent films starring Christian Bale as BATMAN.

BATMAN BEGINS (12A) + THE DARK KNIGHT (12A) on Sunday 14 December at 12.00 midday.

Tickets are only £7 call 0871 704 2063 or go to their website here.

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly at the Liverpool Philharmonic

Posted by LiveFor on October 8, 2008

I mentioned this in a comment on a previous post but thought I’d share it here as well. I’m made up as the Wife has treated us to a couple of ticket’s to go and see a showing of Sergio Leone’s 1966 classic, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. It has been years since I have seen it so I cannot wait.

It’s a special showing at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. I’ve seen a few movies there. Lawrence of Arabia, It’s A Wonderful Life, The Philidelphia Story and Scrooge.

The Philharmonic Hall is a great venue that, obviously, mainly hosts concerts and the like. However, when they have a movie on it is shown on its unique Walturdaw cinema screen. As the art deco screen rises up from the stage for a film, it is accompanied by organ music from Dave Nicholas, who is apparantly Merseyside’s only resident cinema organist. It certainly makes a memorable evening.

In honour of the film here are the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain playing the theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. It’s brilliant. Let me know what you think.


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Spider Slayer in Liverpool?

Posted by LiveFor on September 3, 2008

Nope it’s not the latest bad guy from Spider-Man 4. It is infact all part of the 2008 Liverpool Capitol of Culture.

The mechanical spider is 50 foot long, weighs 37 tonnes and currently hangs just outside Lime Street Station and the producer of Wild Wild West would love it!

The BBC have this to say about it(I saw it today and it looks amazing).

It has been built by French company La Machine, which in 2006 brought the streets of London to a standstill with the Sultan’s Elephant.

The spider is believed to be “waking up” on Friday.

It will descend from its current position on the side of Concourse House on Thursday to be moved to the city’s new arena, before coming to life on Friday.
The creature will then begin exploring the city later that evening.

It will form part of a huge piece of street theatre throughout the city at various landmarks, culminating in what organisers are calling a “spectacular finish” on Sunday.

Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to flock to Liverpool to get a glimpse of the mechanical beast.

It is an unfolding story that takes place in all the public spaces in the city using the great buildings as its stage

Billed as one of the highlights of the 2008 Capital of Culture celebrations, La Machine has been commissioned by arts company Artichoke.

Helen Marriage, the producer of the show, said: “It is the kind of show you can dip in and out of. She’s here until Sunday.

“It has 50 axes of movement so all of it moves as you would expect an insect to move.

“It is an unfolding story that takes place in all the public spaces in the city using the great buildings as its stage.”

The spider is made out of steel and poplar wood and will be operated by 12 people strapped to its frame, Ms Marriage said.

The creature was built in Nantes before being shipped to Merseyside to be assembled in a secret location.

In May 2006, the company’s Sultan’s Elephant drew an estimated one million people to the streets of London.


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